Northrop officials rolled out the numbers Monday, saying that initially about 52 percent of its tanker competitor—the KC-30—would be built in the US. The percentage could go up to perhaps 60 percent as production unfolds. Most of the rest of the work would be done at plants in Britain, Germany, and Spain. Northrop would act as integrator, while EADS would produce the aircraft, mainly at the new facility it plans to build in Mobile, Ala.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.